From: St. Paul Pioneer Press Dispatch*

Date: October 13, 1989

Headline: Hodgson Takes Act to HBO

Photo(s): [Unfortunately only of Bob Protzman.]

Author: Protzman, Bob

Page(s): C3

Note: MST3K moves to the Comedy Channel; Land O'Loons III


Twin Cities comedian Joel Hodgson's wacky "Mystery Science Theater 3000" has been picked up by HBO and will debut on HBO's new 24-hour all-comedy network on Nov. 18.

This will be Hodgson's second brush with the big time. He make it nationally in 1983 with multiple appearances on "Late Night With David Letterman" and "Saturday Night Live," and HBO and Showtime cable specials.

But then Hodgson abruptly quit comedy, saying he didn't enjoy performing anymore, that the spontaneity had gone out of his shows after so many TV appearances. Fortunately for us, Hodgson returned to the stage in the summer of '87 with his gizmos and gadgets and gimmicks and his childlike imagination intact.

From time to time since then, Hodgson has appeared in local clubs, and earlier this year, 20 shows of his "Mystery Science Theater 3000" were seen on Channel 23, KTMA-TV. On the program, a vintage movie was shown, andHodgson and cohorts commented on it through a set of puppets who appeared on screen.

Hodgson's company, Best Brains, will produce the show. It will be filmed beginning next week in a warehouse owned by Hodgson in Eden Prairie, which is being converted to a studio.

The cast and crew of "Mystery Theater 3000" [sic] included producer Jim Mallon, the "puppeteers"--Hodgson, Trace Belieau [sic], and Josh Weinstein--cameraman Kevin Murphy, writer Mike Nelson, and office and production manager Alex Cahr [sic].

Hodgson says the two-hour "Mystery Theater 3000" [sic] will be shown on HBO three times weekly.

By the way, Hodgson will be performing at the Comedy Gallery at Riverplace, Oct. 25-29 and Nov. 1-5.

Hodgson also will be part of KTCA-TV's "Land O'Loons III," which will be taped at the new Channel 2 Telecenter in St. Paul on Oct. 21. Jeff Cesario will host, and other comedians scheduled to perform are Lizz Winstead, Joe Keyes and Susan Norfleet.

The taping will be a fund-raiser for KTCA, the first in a series of special events the station will stage to replace its former fundraising program "Action Auction." Thus, it's going to cost a whopping $150 per person. For tickets, call Cheryl Kohout at 222-1717. The show will run sometime in December.